Rowan came back from Country Faire… he loved it, and the tales he has to tell! I will put some in this week if he will but write them up…
Gotta Hop.
Talk Later,

Gwyllm

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On The Menu:

Erowid Fund Raiser

Radiohead – House of Cards

The Goose-Girl

The Poetry Of Marie De France

Marie De France: A Possible Biography

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Erowid Fund Raiser

Hey everyone,
I wanted to send a quick message letting you all know about

an event being held in Seattle, WA this weekend as a benefit

for Erowid Center. Hopefully most of you know by now that

Erowid gained non-profit status at the end of last year and

since January 1st is now operating as a 501(c)(3) non-profit

educational organization.
A small group of people are holding a benefit party and

auction in Seattle this weekend (Saturday July 18th) as a

fundraiser for Erowid Center.
We’d love to have anyone who’s in the area join us (Earth

and I, as well as Jon Hanna who recently joined the Erowid

crew will all be there). It’s a “speakeasy cocktail reception”

at the Columbia City Theater and tickets are $25. Ideally,

tickets would be purchased in advance. You’re all welcome

and we hope we might see a few of you there so we have friendly

faces to talk to. :-)
For more info and to buy tickets:

http://www.erowid.org/donations/event/event_2008_seattle.php
And for those who have asked recently about contributing now

that we’re a non-profit and donations are tax-deductible:

http://www.erowid.org/donations/
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Radiohead – House of Cards

In Radiohead’s new video for “House of Cards”, no cameras or lights were used. Instead, 3D plotting technologies collected information about the shapes and relative distances of objects. …

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The Goose-Girl


ONCE upon a time an old queen, whose husband had been dead for many years, had a beautiful daughter. When she grew up she was betrothed to a prince who lived a great way off. Now, when the time drew near for her to be married and to depart into a foreign kingdom, her old mother gave her much costly baggage, and many ornaments, gold and silver, trinkets and knicknacks, and, in fact, everything that belonged to a royal trousseau, for she loved her daughter very dearly. She gave her a waiting- maid also, who was to ride with her and hand her over to the bridegroom, and she provided each of them with a horse for the journey. Now the Princess’s horse was called Falada, and could speak.
When the hour for departure drew near the old mother went to her bedroom, and taking a small knife she cut her fingers till they bled; then she held a white rag under them, and letting three drops of blood fall into it, she gave it to her daughter, and said: “Dear child, take great care of this rag: it may be of use to you on the journey.”
So they took a sad farewell of each other, and the Princess stuck the rag in front of her dress, mounted her horse, and set forth on the journey to her bridegroom’s kingdom. After they had ridden for about an hour the Princess began to feel very thirsty, and said to her waiting- maid: “Pray get down and fetch me some water in my golden cup out of yonder stream: I would like a drink.” “If you’re thirsty,” said the maid, “dismount yourself, and lie down by the water and drink; I don’t mean to be your servant any longer.” The Princess was so thirsty that she got down, bent over the stream, and drank, for she wasn’t allowed to drink out of the golden goblet. As she drank she murmured: “Oh! heaven, what am I to do?” and the three drops of blood replied:
“If your mother only knew,

Her heart would surely break in two.”

But the Princess was meek, and said nothing about her maid’s rude behavior, and quietly mounted her horse again. They rode on their way for several miles, but the day was hot, and the sun’s rays smote fiercely on them, so that the Princess was soon overcome by thirst again. And as they passed a brook she called once more to her waiting-maid: “Pray get down and give me a drink from my golden cup,” for she had long ago forgotten her maid’s rude words. But the waiting-maid replied, more haughtily even than before: “If you want a drink, you can dismount and get it; I don’t mean to be your servant.” Then the Princess was compelled by her thirst to get down, and bending over the flowing water she cried and said: “Oh! heaven, what am I to do?” and the three drops of blood replied:
“If your mother only knew,

Her heart would surely break in two.”

And as she drank thus, and leaned right over the water, the rag containing the three drops of blood fell from her bosom and floated down the stream, and she in her anxiety never even noticed her loss. But the waiting-maid had observed it with delight, as she knew it gave her power over the bride, for in losing the drops of blood the Princess had become weak and powerless. When she wished to get on her horse Falada again, the waiting- maid called out: “I mean to ride Falada: you must mount my beast”; and this too she had to submit to. Then the waiting-maid commanded her harshly to take off her royal robes, and to put on her common ones, and finally she made her swear by heaven not to say a word about the matter when they reached the palace; and if she hadn’t taken this oath she would have been killed on the spot. But Falada observed everything, and laid it all to heart.
The waiting-maid now mounted Falada, and the real bride the worse horse, and so they continued their journey till at length they arrived at the palace yard. There was great rejoicing over the arrival, and the Prince sprang forward to meet them, and taking the waiting-maid for his bride, he lifted her down from her horse and led her upstairs to the royal chamber. In the meantime the real Princess was left standing below in the courtyard. The old King, who was looking out of his window, beheld her in this plight, and it struck him how sweet and gentle, even beautiful, she looked. He went at once to the royal chamber, and asked the bride who it was she had brought with her and had left thus standing in the court below. “Oh!” replied the bride, “I brought her with me to keep me company on the journey; give the girl something to do, that she may not be idle.” But the old King had no work for her, and couldn’t think of anything; so he said, “I’ve a small boy who looks after the geese, she’d better help him.” The youth’s name was Curdken, and the real bride was made to assist him in herding geese.
Soon after this the false bride said to the Prince: “Dearest husband, I pray you grant me a favor.” He answered: “That I will.” “Then let the slaughterer cut off the head of the horse I rode here upon, because it behaved very badly on the journey.” But the truth was she was afraid lest the horse should speak and tell how she had treated the Princess. She carried her point, and the faithful Falada was doomed to die. When the news came to the ears of the real Princess she went to the slaughterer, and secretly promised him a piece of gold if he would do something for her. There was in the town a large dark gate, through which she had to pass night and morning with the geese; would he “kindly hang up Falada’s head there, that she might see it once again?” The slaughterer said he would do as she desired, chopped off the head, and nailed it firmly over the gateway.
Early next morning, as she and Curdken were driving their flock through the gate, she said as she passed under:
“Oh! Falada, ’tis you hang there”;

and the head replied:
” ‘Tis you; pass under, Princess fair:

If your mother only knew,

Her heart would surely break in two.”

Then she left the tower and drove the geese into a field. And when they had reached the common where the geese fed she sat down and unloosed her hair, which was of pure gold. Curdken loved to see it glitter in the sun, and wanted much to pull some hair out. Then she spoke:
“Wind, wind, gently sway,

Blow Curdken’s hat away;

Let him chase o’er field and wold

Till my locks of ruddy gold,

Now astray and hanging down,

Be combed and plaited in a crown.”

Then a gust of wind blew Curdken’s hat away, and he had to chase it over hill and dale. When he returned from the pursuit she had finished her combing and curling, and his chance of getting any hair was gone. Curdken was very angry, and wouldn’t speak to her. So they herded the geese till evening and then went home.
The next morning, as they passed under the gate, the girl said:
“Oh! Falada, ’tis you hang there”;

and the head replied:
” ‘Tis you; pass under, Princess fair:

If your mother only knew,

Her heart would surely break in two.”

Then she went on her way till she came to the common, where she sat down and began to comb out her hair; then Curdken ran up to her and wanted to grasp some of the hair from her head, but she called out hastily:
“Wind, wind, gently sway,

Blow Curdken’s hat away;

Let him chase o’er field and wold

Till my locks of ruddy gold,

Now astray and hanging down,

Be combed and plaited in a crown.”

Then a puff of wind came and blew Curdken’s hat far away, so that he had to run after it; and when he returned she had long finished putting up her golden locks, and he couldn’t get any hair; so they watched the geese till it was dark.
But that evening when they got home Curdken went to the old King, and said: “I refuse to herd geese any longer with that girl.” “For what reason?” asked the old King. “Because she does nothing but annoy me all day long,” replied Curdken; and he proceeded to relate all her iniquities, and said: “Every morning as we drive the flock through the dark gate she says to a horse’s head that hangs on the wall:
“`Oh! Falada, ’tis you hang there’;
and the head replies:
“`’Tis you; pass under, Princess fair:

If your mother only knew,

Her heart would surely break in two.’”

And Curdken went on to tell what passed on the common where the geese fed, and how he had always to chase his hat.
The old King bade him go and drive forth his flock as usual next day; and when morning came he himself took up his position behind the dark gate, and heard how the goose-girl greeted Falada. Then he followed her through the field, and hid himself behind a bush on the common. He soon saw with his own eyes how the goose-boy and the goose-girl looked after the geese, and how after a time the maiden sat down and loosed her hair, that glittered like gold, and repeated:
“Wind, wind, gently sway,

Blow Curdken’s hat away;

Let him chase o’er field and wold

Till my locks of ruddy gold

Now astray and hanging down,

Be combed and plaited in a crown.”

Then a gust of wind came and blew Curdken’s hat away, so that he had to fly over hill and dale after it, and the girl in the meantime quietly combed and plaited her hair: all this the old King observed, and returned to the palace without anyone having noticed him. In the evening when the goose-girl came home he called her aside, and asked her why she behaved as she did. “I may not tell you why; how dare I confide my woes to anyone? for I swore not to by heaven, otherwise I should have lost my life.” The old King begged her to tell him all, and left her no peace, but he could get nothing out of her. At last he said: “Well, if you won’t tell me, confide your trouble to the iron stove there,” and he went away. Then she crept to the stove, and began to sob and cry and to pour out her poor little heart, and said: “Here I sit, deserted by all the world, I who am a king’s daughter, and a false waiting- maid has forced me to take off my own clothes, and has taken my place with my bridegroom, while I have to fulfill the lowly office of goose-girl.
“If my mother only knew

Her heart would surely break in two.”

But the old King stood outside at the stove chimney, and listened to her words. Then he entered the room again, and bidding her leave the stove, he ordered royal apparel to be put on her, in which she looked amazingly lovely. Then he summoned his son, and revealed to him that he had got the false bride, who was nothing but a waiting-maid, while the real one, in the guise of the ex- goose-girl, was standing at his side. The young King re- joiced from his heart when he saw her beauty and learned how good she was, and a great banquet was prepared, to which everyone was bidden. The bridegroom sat at the head of the table, the Princess on one side of him and the waiting-maid on the other; but she was so dazzled that she did not recognize the Princess in her glittering garments. Now when they had eaten and drunk, and were merry, the old King asked the waiting-maid to solve a knotty point for him. “What,” said he, “should be done to a certain person who has deceived everyone?” and he proceeded to relate the whole story, ending up with, “Now what sentence should be passed?” Then the false bride answered: “She deserves to be put stark naked into a barrel lined with sharp nails, which should be dragged by two white horses up and down the street till she is dead.”
“You are the person,” said the King, “and you have passed sentence on yourself; and even so it shall be done to you.” And when the sentence had been carried out the young King was married to his real bride, and both reigned over the kingdom in peace and happiness.[1]
[1] Grimm.


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The Poetry Of Marie De France

The Lay Of The Honeysuckle….
It pleases me, I’m willing too

To tell you a story plain and true

‘The Honeysuckle’ is its name

Here’s why and how it came.

Many people have told it me,

And much has been written I see,

Of Tristan and of the Queen,

Of their faithful love I mean,

Of which they had many a pain,

Dying for it on the very same day.
King Mark it seems was angry,

With Tristan his nephew, his fury

Because of his love for the Queen:

He drove him out of his country.

He went to the land of his birth

South Wales, his native earth,

And stayed there a year at least,

Unable to cross the sea.

But then again he set his face

Toward his death and disgrace.

That isn’t so amazing,

Whoever’s in love is grieving

Heavy of heart, he’ll perish

If he can’t have his wish.

Tristan was both pensive and sad,

So he left his own land, the lad

And travelled to Cornwall straight

Where the Queen held state.

He hid in the woods, alone,

Not wanting his presence known:

And he only came out at twilight

To look for a bed for the night.

With peasants, among the poor,

He found a welcoming door.

He asked them for all the news

Of what the King might do.

They told him they had heard

The barons had all been stirred,

To Tintagel they must fare

And join the King’s court there,

At Pentecost, among the nation,

In their joy and celebration,

The Queen, and every knight.

Tristan heard it with delight.

She could scarcely go by,

Without his catching her eye.

On the day the King passed through,

Tristan came to a wood en route

By a road down which he was sure

That whole company would pour:

He cut down a hazel bough,

And trimming it, carefully now,

When he’d prepared the same

With a knife he wrote his name.

If it caught the Queen’s bright eye

Who’d be looking on every side

(For on many another day

She’d met with him this way)

She’d quite easily find

His hazel branch: their sign.

So ran a letter to her of old

In which he’d sent and told

How long he’d been lingering

Hidden there sadly waiting

To discover like any spy

A way to only catch her eye,

Since he couldn’t live without her:

They were two bound together

As the honeysuckle binds

To the hazel that it finds.

When it’s caught and enlaced

Around its branches traced,

They can stick fast like glue,

But if anyone parts the two,

The hazel is quickly gone

Honeysuckle then follows on.

‘Sweet love, so it is with us, too:

No you without me, no me without you.’
So the Queen came riding by:

She looked at a slope nearby,

She saw the branch quite clearly,

Made out the letters easily.

The knights ordered to ride

Who all crowded along beside,

She commanded to stop, confessed

She wished to dismount and rest.

They executed her clear command.

While she strayed far from their band,

Calling her faithful maid,

Branguine, to her aid.

She went from the path some way

In the wood found him, hid away,

Who loved her more than all alive.

Between those two what great delight.

He speaks to her at leisure,

She to him all her pleasure:

Then tells him how he may

Be reconciled to the King that day,

And how grieved she had been

That the King sent him overseas,

Because of the accusations made.

Then she left him, in the glade:

But when it came to their goodbyes

Their tears filled both their eyes.

Tristan now returned to Wales

Till his uncle bade him sail.
Because of the joy he had known

In seeing his beloved, his own,

And because of what he’d penned

As the Queen instructed him then,

So he might more easily remember

Tristan who was a fine harp player,

Made of it a fresh new lay:

Whose title I’ll quickly say:

‘Goat-leaf’ is its English name,

‘Honeysuckle’ in French, the same.

Now I’ve told you the true source

Of the lay I sang you here of course.


From Lanval….
The adventure of another lay,

Just as it happened, I’ll relay:

It tells of a very nice nobleman,

And it’s called Lanval in Breton.
King Arthur was staying at Carduel –

That King of valiant and courtly estate –

His borders there he guarded well

Against the Pict, against the Scot,

Who’d cross into Logres to devastate

The countryside often, and a lot.
He held court there at Pentecost,

The summer feast we call Whitsun,

Giving gifts of impressive cost

To every count and each baron

And all knights of the Round Table.

Never elsewhere so many, such able

Knights assembled! Women and land

He shared with all – except one vassal

Who’d served him well; he forgot Lanval.

Lanval got nothing at the King’s hand.
For being brave and generous,

For his beauty and his prowess,

He was envied by all the court;

Those who claimed to hold him dear,

If Fortune had brought him up short,

Would not have shed a kindly tear.

A king’s son, he’d a noble lineage,

But now, far from his heritage,

He’d joined the household of the King.

He’d spent all the money he could bring

Already. The King gave him no more –

He gave just what Lanval asked for.

Now Lanval knows not what to do;

He’s very thoughtful, very sad.

My lords, I don’t astonish you:

A man alone, with no counsel – or bad –

A stranger in a strange land

Is sad, when no help’s at hand.
This knight – by now you know the one –

Who’d served the King with many a deed,

One day got on his noble steed

And went riding, just for fun.

Alone he rode out of the town,

And came to a meadow – still alone –

Dismounted by a flowing brook.

But his horse trembled now and shook,

So he took off the tackle and let him go,

Rolling free in the broad meadow.

The knight took his own cloak folded

It into a pillow for his head.


From Laustic
The adventure in my next tale

The Bretons made into a lai

Called “Laustic,” I’ve heard them say,

In Brittany; in French they call

The “laustic” a “rossignol”

And in good English, “nightingale.”

Near St. Malo there was a town

(Somewhere thereabouts) of great renown.

Two knights lived there, no lowly vassals,

In houses that were built like castles.

These barons were so good, their fame

Gave their village goodness’s own name.

One of them had married lately:

Polite and polished, such a lady!

She was wise to her own worth

(- Normal in ladies of high birth).

The other lord was a bachelor,

Famed for prowess and for valor,

Loved by all, for he knew how to live:

Joust a lot, spend a lot, what you have give

Away freely. He loved the wife of his neighbor.

He begged so much, and prayed yet more

– And goodness was his striking feature –

So she loved him more than any creature,

Because of the deeds he was famous for,

And because he lived in the castle next door.

Wisely and well they loved, these lovers,

They guarded their love under various covers

And hid it from general sight,

And the lady, at her window, higher,

Speaks, and looks, only desire.

Nights, when the moon her pale light shed,

When her husband had gone to bed,

The lady rose up from his side,

Wrapped herself in a mantle wide,

Went to stand at the window, true

To her friend waiting there, she knew;

For both their lives were just the same,

They waked all night till morning came.

The rapture of looking made them so glad

(That rapture the only one they had).

Marie De France: A Possible Biography
Marie de France was one of the best Old-French poets of the twelfth century. She identifies herself only as Marie who originated in France. Nothing else definite is known about her. Whereas the English poet Denis Piramus (Vie Seint Edmund le rei, after 1170) refers to her as “dame Marie,” emphasizing her noble rank, the scholar Claude Fauchet was the first to coin the name “Marie de France” in his Reueil de l’origine de la langue et poésie françoise (1581). Both the historical circumstances of the manuscripts containing her texts, and linguistic elements of Anglo-Norman, suggest that she lived in England during her adult life, but it seems most likely that she was born in France, probably in the Bretagne. She might have been Marie (I), the abbess of Shaftesbury, illegitimate daughter of Geoffrey IV Plantagenet of Anjou, because our poet translated from English into French a collection of fables (Fables) on the basis of those that King Alfred had allegedly translated from Latin into English, though no such adaptation is known today. The convent of Shaftesbury had been founded by Alfred. This abbess Marie, who was also the half-sister of King Henry II (1133-1189), served in her office from 1181 until at least 1215. Marie (II), the abbess of Reading, would be a second option as the Harley manuscript that contains both Marie’s fables and the lais (today housed in the British Library, MS Harley 978) might have been copied at her convent. Marie (III), the eighth child of Waleran II, Count of Meulan, is the third option, as she was brought up in the modern-day French département of Eure wherein is located the town of Pitres. Pitres is mentioned in Marie’s lai “Les Deus Amanz.” This Marie married Hugh Talbot, Baron of Cleuville who had extensive land holdings in Herefordshire which plays an important role in many of Marie’s lais. The fourth option might be Marie (IV), Countess of Boulogne, daughter of King Stephen of England and Marie de Boulogne. This Countess was raised in a convent and later gained the rank of Abbess of Romsey in Hampshire. King Henry II forced her to marry Matthew of Flanders as he wanted to maintain his power over Boulogne. Through her marriage Marie became the sister-in-law of Hervé II, son of Guiomar of Léon. The parallels between the names of Guiomar and Guigemar, the eponymous hero in one of Marie’s lais, are intriguing, yet not completely compelling. Marie de Boulogne returned to a convent sometime between 1168 and 1180, most likely to the convent of Sainte Austreberthe in Montreuil-sur-Mer. None of these four associations with a historically identifiable person are fully convincing, and our Marie might well have been quite a different person otherwise not documented.